Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday night review: Robyn Hitchcock @ Doug Fir 10/25/12

I was dog-tired and sick last night, but that didn't prevent me from going out to Doug Fir Lounge to view and hear one of my all-time favorite songwriters, Robyn Hitchcock. upon walking in the door at the club, I was overcome by the thick rock sound of Peter Buck's solo band. Pete sings in a rough voice with a limited range, but it worked well with the mid-tempo, even-handed garage style of his band. Somehow towing the line between professional polish and raw rawk vibe, I caught a few tunes in the midst of the crowd and then quaffed a few beverages for good health and wellness, I didn't at first want to see the Young Fresh Fellows, just because I harbor a somewhat of a grudge against Scott McCaughey  (for being omnipresent in the NW.) That bit of mean-spiritedness aside, YFF totaly rocked my night and I immediately got up from the bar when they started. Duh! Guitarist Kurt Bloch is in the band. I forgot about that. And the drummer's singing and peppy stage presence was great. They covered, "Picturebook," by the Kinks and many of their own classics from the 1980s, including "Mojo Working" and several others that I remembered from long ago. Onward through the night, I slipped into the crowd into the mid-front section and prepared for an experience with one of my all-time heros. His first several songs all sparkle out of his acoustic guitar, his voice purely Robyn, its sound wrapping around all of us present. Something that I love about RH is his ability to sing very low at times, richly delivering his sardonic lyrics. Highlights for me were the opener, "Only the stones remain," along with, "The wreck of the Arthur Lee," which blew my mind with its double-entendre chorus, "Be-lieve in Love.." I hadn't heard that one before last night. Ok...I am a geek. He brought up an additional, fuzzy-haired singer to sing harmonies on, "Queen Elvis," and had the dude up for some time. Later, Colin Malloy from Decemberists got up and sang at one point as well. I kind of lost interest when the additional musicians Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Reiflin came up to support him.I know these guys are all heavies, but the consistency of their back-up band offerings are not lighting my inner torch. I have enjoyed the same style of show from Robyn and his same NW crew for several go-rounds now. Its a big friend-fest, but I long for some new direction from RH that will blow my mind, something different, either solo or with some stranger musical amalgamation. Maybe I should have submitted my request on a bar napkin - a nasty note, requesting his submission to this particular fan's needs, but no. I understand the complexities of balancing the delivery of music-by-rote when life's other demands seem to be beating the louder drum. I just like it when my heroes evolve and indulge their whimsy in new ways. Oh well, I am a hypocrite - I like the greatest hits package-shows too. I am real happy that I even went. It's a struggle against habit to go out sometimes, but we all need to be reminded of what the other people in our town look like, what they drink, how they talk, how they smell and also how they comment to their friends about music that you are intimate with. People always talk about 'Portland hipsters', but honestly most everyone looked pretty normal at last night's show. Normal, middle-aged-and-younger crowd, wearing sweaters and glasses. I always feel like a geek inside when I go mentally through my day; turns out I am just one of many geeks. Viva geek homogenization!

Monday, October 15, 2012

October Blues

My oldest brother used to often say to me, "there are three main things you do: input, output and make money." I feel like I've been spending all my time (at least trying to) make money and inputting; outputting, not so much. So here goes: since re-committing myself to my job, I feel like the music side of my life has slid off the map. I guess that's not entirely true, since I am still setting up shows with the Underlings and making it to band practice once in awhile, but I think in my previous life, I sacrificed my work-side rewards by putting music above my work. and I wasn't necessarily happier, but I somehow carved out my own slacker ethos and allowed my music to rule my worktime, not the other way around. That being said, I'm having fun at my job for the first time in years. I'm assigned with organizing the produce coolers at work, which is kind of a big deal. I also am on the team that is working on configuring the company's Warehouse Management system, which is complicated, frustrating and yet also rewarding. It is fun to work on a team of intelligent people who are dedicated to getting the project off the ground, I often wonder if the whole thing is too far above my head, but I think I am hanging in there. I can't wait until the project is done and I can focus on quietly blending in at work, maybe apply some of my creative skillz to the mix of Organic produce and eccentric personalities. GOOD NEWS: I got a new record player and now my record collection is no longer collecting dust. I am on a mission to listen to every piece of vinyl I have, from Roy Orbison to Kraftwerk, Landspeed Record to In a Silent Way. I am a square - I have had the same mediocre Sony turntable for 10 years. I finally pony'd up and bought a vintage refurbished Dual 1249 turntable; kind of a medium-grade audiofile deck from the late 1970's. Belt driven and good enough for me, I am stoked and we've all been hearing a lot more music around the house. Next step: get some blank cassettes and make some mix tapes for friends. Mebbe X Mas? Happy Rocktober,

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Eugene Party Blitz 2012

Another dense weekend in the life of Ed. Friday after work, we all headed down to Eugene to stay at Kelani's house and allow Tina to go out to a bachelorette party with her friends. Party. PARTY!! I partied from the time I put the kids down at 9pm until 9:49 pm, when I retired my ass, totally blown out from a long week at work. PARTY!! I slept hard until 6am when the kids awoke and started pit-pattering around the house. It was nice to stay at a house that came pre-equipped with lots of cool toys and robots for my children to play with. While they were distracted and dismantling Kelani's robots, I drank 4 cups of coffee, made some breakfast and then went out for a much-needed haircut and procurement of a TDK SA90 tape from House of Records. Did I mention we were staying in Eugene to celebrate Louis' 5th birthday? Well, that was the plan and we went ahead and executed that plan, although the rain dripped down and everyone got wet. Jennifer brought a rain shelter to our ill-outfitted party at Swiss Cheese park. The pizza we brought was soon ate and the kids were stripped to their bathing suits and playing in the sprinkler-like water feature area while we grown-ups chatted underneath the shelter. Finally the candles were blown out, songs were sung and delicious cupcakes consumed. The rain let up and then the pinata was whacked, first by each of the kids 3x and then Tina went feral and beat up the space shuttle pinata until its contents blew mightily into space and were then gathered by the quick and greedy fingers of the children. Phew! What a relief to have one of your kids' birthday party over with for another year. Did I mention the awesome fruit platter I constructed? It was ate by all and I was glad to see the kids eating fruit instead of throwing it. Dang! Back to Portland late last night, now it is Sunday and Tina's niece is here from Phoenix to stay with us for 2 weeks. Recycled some bottles for gas and groceries and now I think I am ready to start my work week. I can't wait until work dies down and I can try to go back to thinking about making some music. I am getting ready to revive this as a new recording centerpiece in the basement studio. I'll post some results soon.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Blogg Master 2000: Produce Racker

Ok, I am over being in a new town. I am ever-so-slightly settled into my new life in Portland with the family. Work has started to settle down and also to make sense, which I was afraid would never happen - very scary it was to switch jobs mid-stream. I was prepared to go back to square one and start back at the bottom rung of the company ladder, but for some reason I seem destined to land squarely in the mid-level of the job, even if I try to jump downwards and miss. One of the things I am most pleased about has been learning how to use the smaller, stand-up forklifts. These things are cool - more highly maneuverable than the standard sit-down forklifts, they are also quite a bit more squirrel-y, and take a light touch. It was terrifying at first, making a near-fool of myself while learning something new, especially having to do it in plain sight of several younger, more-skilled forklift drivers who are constantly buzzing about, making me look like a mid-aged slowpoke. Oh well! I guess that feeling a fool comes at all stages of life, but the older you get, the less you worry about it. After a few weeks, I've definitely gotten better, but lets just say...I don't push my limits when I'm putting a heavy pallet of citrus in a 25-foot-high warehouse rack. My main focus is to manage the capacity of the warehouse so that there will be room for everyday s incoming products, which would make perfect sense if there actually was any space to manage! Scratch that - the space to manage is small and shrinking, so every bit of space that can be utilized must BE utilized, and I've got to use my imagination. It sounds corny, but this position is the first time I've really been into my job for a long time and I am grateful for the change. In other news...Tina and I had a wonderful weekend of socializing and kid-herding. Friday, our friends Father Don and his gal Cameron came over for a lovely, inspired Tina-cooked dinner consisting of spanikopita and veggies. Delightful! We stayed up late, drinking (and spilling) wine and listening to records and also playing with our household's duel Casio SK1's - the perfect nerd-party-hacker toys. Many electronic topics were discussed before our friends left late by cab. Saturday, again we had dinner with friends, this time the Kaleidoscopic Keoghs and Shanahans - Tina's bandmates from the Homemakers and their respective significant others. Pork was feasted upon, along with several more liters of wine. Brian K and I later head out to see Pellet Gun's LP release

at the Know on Alberta street, where of course we ran into a bunch of ex-Eugene people. There is, like, an entire island of ex-Eugenians here in Portland; no wonder it still feels like home. Pellet Gun rocked it; the crowd was really digging their sparse, dynamic indie rock and the sound was perfect for the small room at the Know. If you haven't checked out Pellet Gun in awhile, now is your chance. If you are interested in buying their cool slab of vinyl, it is available here. Ok lads and ladies, take care and have fun. I will speak to you telepathically thru the interwebs at some other point on the continuum. Spock Hand, Ed

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still Grinding Forward

Its funny in a way, that when you leave a place that you've been rooted to for a long while, it's like a slow divorce. Or a guillotine chop. Or both. When I first moved to Eugene in the summer of 1992, it was such a fresh, new change for me. I loved the heat that summer. When I had previously lived in Northern California on the coast, I had grown accustomed to the dreary, overcast, 40-degrees-in-the-summer gloom, so Eugene seemed lush, green and hot that summer. I was ready for the change and I drank it in like wine. The winter that followed featured a record amount of snow, deep in the streets, and I was ready for that, too. I drank a lot of good seasons in Eugene and Lane county, but somewhere along the line, while simultaneously making friends and making music and occasionally acting busy, raising my kids and family and working  and all that entails, I became thirsty again, thirsty for the difference, the change, not the same. And now that I'm there, again in a new town, with new surrounds, new weather, new wildlife and a bunch of new people, I get to drink some more of the flavors of life, more of the new. In my mind, Eugene is my reference, and I am glad I still have the formatted imprint of such a weird town. If Eugene hadn't been so weirdly accommodating,  I probably wouldn't have stayed there for nearly 20 years. But I'm glad I did.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I love this shitty, rainy weather! I guess that's why I live in the Northwest. I had a fun day tooling around on my bike - first, taking the LTD bus way out to near Autzen to get my teeth looked at by a vampire orthodontist, then riding back on the bike path, observing all the pretty things and jogging people with their earbuds in. Hopped by Buy and Sell center to buy a $12 key-of-G harmonica, grapped some meat and wine at Kiva and then off to the Wheel Works bike store for some of those little, nubby bolt screw thingys that hold on my bike rack and then, and THEN, off to Next Step recycling in search of a used Sprint luck there. It was very nice to head out for a 2-hour break from kid duty, since Tina dutifully took over and went to play group at Putters' Hot Dog and mini Golf Palace out on Highway 99. Now, I'm even sneaking in some time to write this blog. Shhhhh... don't tell anyone yet, but I think a super- awesome band called the Lovesores are gonna play with the Underlings real soon.

And my friends in FASTERS just posted a new ep on their bandcamp page:

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

I went to see Dengue Fever and Secret Chiefs 3 last night at the WOW hall here in beautiful Eugene, Oregon. I've missed Secret Chiefs the last two times they've played here, so I was determined to go to this show - I found a sitter for the little 'uns at the last minute and headed down to the show on my bike. I paid my way and then walked into the show. Dengue Fever was already on, and the crowd was thick for a Monday night. DF struck me as a mix of American surf-rock with a little bit of Asian influence, musically-speaking. The vocalist, Chhom Nimol, was great; the most memorable part of the set for me was her solo vocal introduction to a pop song sung in Kmher - a soulful, mournful sound that was nonetheless very lifting, and when the band came in to complete the arrangement, the sound was crushing and full. A fun act, very energetic with the bassist and guitarist pogo'ing a lot, keeping the energy high, but they didn't knock me out the way I hoped they would. Still I give them a solid B. Secret Chiefs 3 were another story. I've been familiar with trey Spruance's work since I first heard Mr. Bungle's Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny demo waaay back in High School. I confess: I was a Mr. Bungle groupie for a spell and followed the band and it's related spin-offs pretty well over the years. SC3 is one of the best associated projects from the Mr. Bungle genom, and I have given them an ear for the past decade or so. "Middle-eastern gothic-furf-rock" is the first thing that comes to mind when scrambling for a description of SC3. They did not disappoint, hurtling into an un-introduced set of complicated, odd-time music with abandon. Trey and company hit the metaphysical nail on the head in their quasi-anonymous hoods and face-scarves. I wish I knew for certain who the other members of the band were last night - I could of sworn that it was Danny Heifitz on drums underneath that hood - but suffice it to say they were top-notch players who must be having fun playing Spruance's crazy fuckin' music. Here is a pic of a couple of Secret Chiefs fans:

and here is Dengue Fever:

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Part 3 of Gasquet: revisted - Ed's version

Classic rock figures heavily into my imprinted memories of growing up in Gasquet. I don't actually think any of my siblings actually played Steve Miller Band around the house, but of course, SMB was ubiquitous in the 1970s. In my mind's eye, when I think of those hot, summer days near the Smith river, I think of my brother Mike in cut-off shorts, shirtless, riding a 10-speed with his interesting pack of partier friends, acting out some high school drama, chasing the feathered-hair beauties of the time and drinking stolen beer, jumping in the river or peeling out in whatever kind of car or truck was available. I do have snippets of true memories - being over at Brett F's house, looking at the 45 of Blondie's Heart of Glass and listening to it again and again on Brett's stereo; sleeping in the upper shelf of my sister's closet before I had my own room; playing a ukelele along with a dixieland jazz band that played in my mom's living room while a raging party ensued. That was the good stuff, and although my memory is not complete, somehow it ends up being linked to the guy that sang the Joker and Big Ol' Jet airliner. Here is the best cover version of the song by the Arcata band One Man Running from 1992:

I will hit this subject more clearly soon - I know it might be boring to read my fuzzy recollections in their present state - next time I will focus more on the 1980s and my own trials and tribulations in small-town Gasquet - Mountain School, my first band and maybe some images if I can scrape some up.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Raining outside, beer in hand, late at night, too much internetty-time. Phew! I just sent off the majority of the Underlings CD image-stuff to our design-guru. I can't wait to see what happens when it comes back. Every time I get 99% done with a cd project, I feel like throwing the whole thing away and giving up, but no, I won't do that. I think the whole package is going to come out great; I just reserve the right to express my frustration at how long the process takes. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Some folks around here are already aware of the Guilty Pleasures show that happened last weekend at Sam Bond's Garage. For those who don't know, local musician/artist/cool guy Dave Snider puts on this fun show where 29 or 30 local singers get up onstage with a band of crack musicians and sing their "guilty pleasure" pop song, a song they enjoy but don't readily admit to. I did 2 Tickets to Paradise by Eddie Money, a song I liked very much when I was 8. Other folks did songs by the Offspring, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, New Kids on the Block, Boz Scaggs - you get the picture. The scene was crowded beyond belief - man! So many people will show up for an event like that, it blows my mind. One of the rare chances any of us have to perform to a full house. Very fun and the band was awesome - Jake Pavlak on guitar, Ryan Tocchini on Keyboards and guitar, James West on drums and Dave Snider on bass, with occasional appearances by Kee Zublin (sax) and Tony Figoli (bongos). The mind boggles, I am glad to party with the freaks once in awhile. MOVING ON, I know I blogged last about Gasquet and I will get back to that subject soon, but I don't want to crowd this post. I will say my mind is constantly troubled, thinking about my brother, living in a tent by a river in Washington state. Do any of you readers have relatives who you'd like to help, but you know you'd be embracing absolute chaos if you stick your neck out too far to help them? And perhaps have you ever been conflicted about just living your own life, scraping by as best you can, when you can't stop thinking about someone you care about who is self-destructive and unwilling to accept help? That's where my mind is at lately. I'm sure I'm not alone in this feeling - I know some of my friends have been to the dark side and made it back, and of course we all know a few who just slid off into oblivion and never returned. 'nuff said, I guess I will just pray to the Metal Gods and hope everything turns out for the best.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Regarding Gasquet, I never meant to imply that it is a shameful place. On the contrary, I can completely understand why certain kinds of people want to live in a rural area in a beautiful part of the world. However, being raised in a rural place can be a different story. As a kid, I was filled with wonder at the nature all around me, but I felt completely isolated from my peers. I did have some interesting friends that came and went over the years, but I have to say - every family or person I knew were all coming from some other place, often, "escaping, " from something, someone, some situation. People escaping other people and ending up in a loose-knit community in the redwoods. I digress: the coolest time I spent in Gasquet was in the late 1970s. My family moved there in December 1975, about a month after my dad died. My mom, I can remember, was sighing a lot and consulting with her business associates about buying a house somewhere in rural Del Norte county. We were living temporarily in Smith River in a rather funky trailer/house combination. My mom tended to fall in love with homes that were of older construction and had unique qualities. She ended up buying the old Gasquet School house, a giant, cavernous house divided in 2 large sections, formerly classrooms I assume. Long and rectangular with giant redwood beam construction, the house was drafty but solid. The entire main dining room / living room was large and lodge-like, with high ceilings and 7 or 8 large windows along one wall, a large fireplace - later a insert stove - on one end. The other half of the house was divided into 5 bedrooms of varying sizes, a laundry room and a bathroom. The laundry room dead-ended in a pantry-sized hallway. This was my room, only big enough for my bed and alien sci-fi books. I digress: When my family moved to Gasquet, we landed in a cool little town with a fair-sized population of kids of all ages. It didn't really stay that way in the 1980s. The 70s in Gasquet were ruled by factions of rowdy youth partiers from several different families. At the least, that is how I remember it as a young kid. I was surrounded by my 3 older brothers and 1 older sister. They knew everyone in town and everyone knew us Coles. My brother Mike, 3d from the oldest in my family, was well known in this part of the world. He was a natural leader of a certain kind of tribe, the kind of tribe that exists in the Mountain Dew commercial Gasquet of my fuzzy memories, a tribe of regular, American dudes living the wholesome, mischief-laden, dope smokin', possibly thievin, small-town existence. All the dudes that were Mike's friends - guys with names like Bruce, Brett, Bob, Dan, Mike and Rocky, girls with names I can no longer remember - were typically rowdy but nice, often hanging out at, "The Forks, " the popular river spot, doing their thing, loudly, jumping off cliffs and hyperventilating for a cheap buzz. Drug use - there was plenty, and plenty of gas and glue-huffing as well. Off-roading in Datsuns and VW bugs - check. Siphoning fuel from airplanes for a high-octane kick for your Nova? - check. Running through the woods at night, tripping balls on 'shrooms - check. Fun stuff to witness, and somewhat disconcerting, but that was what was going down. Of course, my sister and other bros knew all these folks too, but Mike seemed like the head of the pack. I can remember tooling around town with my brother, going up to visit friends that lived on Gasquet loop road while riding on the back of dirt bikes, getting in car crashes every now and then, playing my first video games and first hearing, "new wave," music, like Blondie, on local turntables, all the while my bro sneakin' off to go smoke weed with his friends, always leaving me with Rush records to listen to or Atari 2600 games to play with, always Asteroids. I wish I could let drop some of the more salacious gossip of the times, but I don't want to incriminate anyone - although I'm sure the statute of limitations is long over for petty crimes of the sort that I was witness to. Stolen beer, siphoned gas, joyrides, petty theft, vandalism. I wasn't party to any of it at the time - of course I was much too young - but I have to say, it colored my outlook on life, somehow imparted a thieves' perspective on my psyche. I'm thankful that I was never witness to any truly bad shit - no white drugs, prostitution or domestic violence - not like so many of my friends, but there was a wild, permissive vibe in the air during the era. Our parents were distracted with the free, freaky, swinging 70s. We got away with entirely too much, but some of course, paid the price anyway. Next time: why Steve Miller Band wrote the soundtrack to the summer of my youth, Edward J Colesier

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gasquet, California

(image of Smith River courtesy of

I never actually wanted to write about Gasquet, at least for the longest time I’ve avoided it. I still have some ties there, but not so much that I really care anymore about the truth getting out about the quaint/sketchy little village on the Smith River in Nor Cal. I have a mixture of pride and shame in regards to my longest-time hometown association with Gasquet and greater Del Norte County. Pride because the area is unique and beautiful, shame because of… well , I’m not really sure why. Del Norte County is like a little corner of Alaska that got dropped on the Northern California coast. It feels remote there, roughly equidistant between San Francisco and Portland, roughly equidistant between Eureka, California and Grant’s Pass, Oregon. The population is small and comes in one of several dominant categories – 1. poor, working class, mostly white. 2. Yurok and Talawa Indian tribes living on their respective reservations. 3. Cannibas cultivators. 4. Law enforcement professionals (and/or Forest Service professionals, Cal trans etc…) 5. Unemployed, formerly working poor, often Meth-addicted folks and of course, 6. Everyone Else. I spent most of my formative school years in Del Norte, off and on, from kindergarten through my Senior year in high school, and I was one of those who desperately wanted out, and when the time came I left at a high rate of speed. But, that isn’t to say that I don’t have fond memories of my rural upbringing. For starters, there is Gasquet itself. Initially a resort village located on a flat area of the Smith River Valley, the town was founded sometime around the turn of the 20th century by a man named Horace Gasquet. The heyday of the town was probably the 1950s, when several trailer parks and a motel catered to the middle-class vacationers of the day. The best feature in the old days was the Gasquet store and The Rusty Nail bar, which as far as I know was most happening from the 1950s through early 1980s. Here is a pic from a fellow named DBerry's flickr stream of the store in all it's 50's glory:

Village of Gasquet, CA, 1950's

Next time around, I will set forth with more sordid tales of Gasquet in the late 1970's, when teenaged partiers ran amok and brought with them pop culture artifacts from the bigger cities that their parents moved from. It was a happening time, with cut-off shorts, pancake breakfasts at the Veterans Hall, Peter Frampton hairdos and Cheap Trick, the Cars and ELO blasting out of Camaro 8 track players at every turn.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Macro Blawg: I’m at the end of my lunch. I am at a desk, in front of a plastic rectangle with many, many square buttons on it, in front of another glowing rectangle. A cup of tepid, brown fluid is settled in a ceramic vessal with the letters “E, d” emblazoned on the side. Many important inputs are entering my brain via my senses – but this blawg is an output, so let me translate now to you: the new album from Stew and the Negro Problem is on my player, coming into my ears and I will tell you that it hits the spot. When I think of reality, I think of the awful, banal things that force their way into my life everyday – working at a “job”, commuting around the town with all the other beings, dealing with Godawful Assholes (tm) and the rules they want to impose on everyone, financial pressures of being on the outside of “The Game.” Right at this moment, none of that matters. What matters – what seems “real”, is Stew and Heidi’s music, which somehow, almost always, hits that spot reserved for the most Real of the Real.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Man, my brain hurts! I've been goofing around in a great audio program called reaper for about a year now, mainly just "practicing" recording demo songs and band practice, but lately I've been making an effort to really wrap my head around DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) editing techniques. All I can say is - ouch! Maybe if I was 15 again, this whole transition to computer recording wouldn't be so hard. As it is, I now bow down to those whipper snapper kids and adults who have become so good at editing drums and other instruments in the digital domain. I fear I have a deficit of application - it's been so long since I've applied my brain, it doesn't want to flex or learn for NOTHIN'. At least not on my 1/2 hour lunch break at work, and certainly not at 9:30 pm after the kids go down for the night. Writing a song, rehearsing a song, performing or recording a song - all that stuff seems a hell of a lot easier than this quantized editing bullshit. I seriously need to up my geek quotient if I'm going to get with the program. That being said, here is my first, "official", self-recorded album from 1994, "1994 Fuzz Attack," all done on 4-track cassette, of course:

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Dang, I love carrot juice, especially when it's free - so long as it isn't out-of-date and rancid/dangerous. A person who I was close to for many years used to dispense the following advice: There are only 3 modes in life: Input, Output and Make Money. I guess lately I've been solely in Input/Make Money modes. I input various foods, liquids and supplements into my body. I input music, art, internet, television and face-to-face, ear-to-ear communication into my brain, my "true self." And, theoretically, I make money, but usually not at a high enough bandwidth to actually feel its presence. I've been on a healthier kick lately, and no, it doesn't have anything to do with a New Year's resolution. Less harmful chemicals and alcohol inputted into self. Attempting to be less-curmudgeonly in my regular rounds of personal communications, but I often trip up on that and revert to my grumpy, slightly-mean self. But the one thing I haven't been doing much lately is Output. I was on a creative roll for a spell, writing songs and journal entries, occasionally blogging - sure enough, that's output. But lately, almost nada. I have a slew of half-finished song ideas on tape, but oddly, finishing those valuable bits can be harder than it seems. I started in again, last night, working on a song I had started a month ago. I worked it through about 2/3 of the way and went back to input mode - I had to check the internet, that valuable resource, full of so much indispensable information and entertainment. Damn! Tripped up again. the WWW is worse than TMZ - everything seems so frickin' important, but in reality, none of it is. I didn't make any particular resolutions this year - although Woody Guthrie's 1942 New Year's list has been making the rounds on the social sites , and it certainly is inspirational and entertaining - but if I have anything to resolve for 2012, it's to make more face-to-face time for the people in my sphere. Less internettin', more gettin' with. And that probably includes you, so watch out!